goat island





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performances : It's Shifting, Hank :

performance space drawing by Lin Hixson

It's Shifting, Hank addresses themes generated by the question, "Why were you in pain in such a beautiful place?" The piece takes as its starting point the difficulty of breathing, as the performers hold their breath for long periods of time, help one another to exhale, or repeat a line of dialogue on a single breath until the breath runs out. Movement sequences combine post-punk rock music, creating complex anti-dance choreography which resonates with imagery of Red Cross life saving and water safety techniques. In silence, the performers examine their own and one another's bodies in minute medical detail. With texts drawn from the films Blackboard Jungle and To Sir, With Love, and from the pro-Fascist Radio Rome broadcasts of the American poet Ezra Pound, the piece presents racial intolerance as a repressive response to illness. The last part of the piece concerns itself with mortality, eroticism, and the human gesture of care. Simple physical tasks push the endurance level of the performers to the point of collapse. A final staging of the drowning scene from the film Sometimes A Great Notion cross-cut with dialogue from transcripts of a near-mystical deathbed vision and with original writing, concludes this work.

Created by: Karen Christopher, Matthew Goulish, Lin Hixson (director), Greg McCain, Timothy McCain.

Commissioned by: Ferens Live Art Space (Hull, UK)

Performance History